Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gemalto NFC Contactless Challenge: Day Nine

The second to final day of my #GemaltoNFC Contactless Challenge revealed some unexpected results. The first was McDonalds, a fast food joint I would not normally visit expect I did so this morning because, you know, you kinda have to visit once to test their contactless machines. You can chalk that up as a fail though, as the machine simply failed to read the Samsung Galaxy S III, spurting out nonsensical messages like 'access denied' or 'merchant denied' or something to that effect.
Contactless not accepted here
A visit to the local Sainsbury's also yielded a negative feedback as they do not accept contactless, even on the self service machines. With many Waitrose, Tesco and Marks & Spencer stores now deploying contactless, Sainsbury's is well behind their rivals.

The final fail of the day was an attempt to rent a movie from Blockbuster. I thought if I was not able to watch a film at a cinema (despite attempting to do so at six cinemas, no less), then at least I could rent one. Blockbuster uses stat of the art Verifone VX810 machine, which while capable of accepting an optional contactless module, was very much contactless-less. So much for watching a movie tonight, but hei, I have Homeland to catch up anyway!
Contactless curry!
The day was about to go contactless when while having dinner with some friends at the Spice Lounge Indian restaurant in St Albans, I thought I would cheekily asked the waiter if they accept contactless. Of all places I would not expect this restaurant to have a machine capable of contactless, but the wireless machine apparently does. The message was initially hard to get through, as contactless did not appear to be a term familiar with them, even if they have used it before.

Our friends were impressed when I demonstrated the payment method. Sadly, none of them could jump on the contactless phone bandwagon as four owns an iPhone of some kind, while two other owns a Galaxy Nexus and a Vodafone branded Samsung Galaxy S III, which while NFC enabled, aren't compatible with the Orange Tap Wallet app. See the issue here? The industry should sit down an agree on a standard

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